Past tips to Ireland

July 20, 2009 at 6:43 pm Leave a comment

In 2005 R. and I went to Ireland for our second trip. Below are some of my observations on the Irish road system and happenings in the Dungeon Bar.In November Robert and I returned to Ireland. We stopped in Dublin, where we saw a play at the Abbey Theatre, toured Dublin Castle and generally roamed around the city.

We then ventured down to Kilkenny, which is a beautiful, artistic town with a really big castle.

From there we traveled through N and R roads to Kinnity Castle, which is near Birr. According to publicity about the castle there are several ghosts as permanent guests. That night at the bar we saw several people in medieval dress enter. Robert asked them if they were in fact corporeal or were they the resident ghosts. They thankfully replied that they were employees of a telecom company in Dublin staying at the castle for their Christmas party. There was also a wedding reception going on as well. That night at the Dungeon Bar we partied with the medievals (including lords and ladies, monks and friars, jesters and cross dressers), refugees from the wedding reception, people from nearby towns, and musicians playing at a traditional music session. A good time was had by all. There are some photos of the festivities below.

A trad session in progress

That night combined medievals, musicians, castle visitors, townspeople, and refuges from a wedding in interesting combinations.

Merry dancing!

From there we went to Galway and toured the Connemara, which many folks say is the “real” Ireland. It was certainly scenic.

Some observations about driving in Ireland. Roads are classified according to their proximity to the sheep population. “M” roads are usually at least four lane “dual carriageways.” For M roads sheep can hardly be seen due to highway speeds and their distance from drivers. “N” roads are usually two lane roads with pavement markings. On these roads you are very near to the sheep. “R” roads are sometimes two lane roads but are likely to become 1 ½ lane and then one lane roads. You really, really hope that you don’t run into another car coming towards you. On R roads you are really, really close to the sheep, as they are sometimes wandering along the roadside munching grass. Roadside safety features include rock walls, castles, cars parked on the side of the road and/or sidewalk, and/or sheep. We managed to avoid all of those.

Also, all Irish roundabouts have names, even some of the mini-roundabouts. They are  not close to sheep at all. Howver, we were always having to pay attention where we were going while driving on the timpeallán that I didn’t take any pictures.


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On to Dublin How to talk to people in a pub

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